Eddie Nations of King has been holding in a secret since January 5 and this week he shared it after the N.C. Education Lottery officially announced he won $1 million in the Extreme Millions Second-Chance drawing.
“I was thrilled and just in shock,” he said.
This wasn’t Nations first win, but it was by far his largest. In 2013, he banked $5,000 and two years later $2,500 playing the Lucke-Zone through the N.C. Lottery mobile app.
The winning ticket was an accumulation of points gathered over months of play. Nations explained that up to 75 tickets can be logged in per day and they don’t necessarily have to be winning tickets.
“I purchase tickets, but people know that I play so they’ll give me their losing tickets or you find some laying on the ground a lot of times. They each have a certain point value so it adds up. I had around 267 points when I won,” he said.
Ironically, on the day Nations and his wife of 35 years went to claim the lump sum of money from the N.C. Education Lottery office he met another local winning ticket holder from Walnut Cove.
“I think they won about $1,000, but we were both just happy for each other. It’s a small world because we knew a lot of the same people. I couldn’t help but think, this is great for Stokes County. Bringing it back to Stokes is a plus for me.”
Nations said he’s been playing the lottery for almost five years and although he’s found success, he doesn’t encourage others to go out and spend their entire paycheck in an attempt to win big.
“To me it’s 50 percent luck and 50 percent working at it. I’ve put some time into this over the years because it’s something I’ve enjoyed doing. When I win 20 or 25 dollars, I put it in a drawer and save it. A couple years ago I had nearly 700 dollars saved for vacation.”
Nations also said his millionaire status is really about half a million, after accepting a lump sum and paying federal and state taxes.
But he isn’t complaining.
He worked his last day in November at 68-years-old as an industrial mechanic, but soon after took a part-time job at Food Lion.
“I like being active, but maybe this is God’s way of telling me I can officially retire,” he said.
Amanda Dodson may be reached at 336-813-2426.